One Good Thing in 2015: Sarah Frankcom, Kerry Harker & Jason Wood

Polly Checkland Harding
Still from the film with a man looking at a bird in a case

If you had to list just one thing you’re looking forward to this year, what would it be? We ask some of the north’s cultural movers and shakers.

To mark the launch of our Cultural Calendar 2015, we asked some of our favourite people to tell us the one thing they are looking forward to most this year. First, Everything Everything, Sally McDonald and Matt Fenton made their top picks. Next, it’s the turn of the Royal Exchange theatre’s Sarah Frankcom, co-founder of the Tetley Kerry Harker, and the new Artistic Director for film at HOME, Jason Wood.

Sarah Frankcom: God Speed You! Black Emperor

There are lots of brilliant cultural events in Manchester that I’m looking forward to. I can’t wait for the opening of HOME and the reopening of the Whitworth – the new show from Cornelia Parker is not to be missed. And there’s the return of Manchester International Festival, who we will be collaborating. However, the event I am beyond excited about is Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Albert Hall (17 Apr). I adore this extraordinary group of Canadian musicians. It’s hard to categorise them – their sound gets right under your skin, wrecks your head and makes time stop for a while. I saw them live for the first time last year, where they played their critically acclaimed new album, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – it was extraordinary. The fact they are playing in one of my favourite buildings in Manchester, which has a unique acoustic and atmosphere, is the icing on the cake. Sarah Frankcom is the Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre. Last year, she directed Maxine Peake as Hamlet at the theatre – the production has been made into a film, to be shown at HOME in April.

Kerry Harker: The British Art Show, Leeds

The British Art Show in Leeds is a gigantic opportunity for the city and the region to raise its game and do something special – and for Leeds to seize that opportunity and do something exciting with it. We have everything in place to make a huge success of it. Kerry Harker is the co-founder of The Tetley in Leeds. Read our interview with her here.

Jason Wood: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

I know it’s a safe choice, but the cultural event I am looking forward to is a microcosm of everything that remains exciting about cinema and film. It’s the release in April of Swedish auteur, Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice International Film Festival, the film is a beautifully orchestrated look at the foibles of human existence. Funny, poignant and profoundly melancholic, it acts as an absurd mirror to life. Jason Wood is the new Artistic Director for Film at HOME. Read our interview with him here.

Culture Guides


Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.


The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

The Spongebob Musical at the Manchester Opera House


New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie


From local writing to international talent, we have heaps of online launches and in real life readings not to mention some extra special festival events coming our way in live literature land.


More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

New years are for new experiences, and we have a whole lot of ideas to inspire you as 2023 gets underway.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts